Former two-time Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has used Singapore yet again as an example to comment on the state of things in Malaysia.
Claims that Malays will sell their land if they are poor
This time, the 97-year-old warned Malays in Malaysia that if they sell their land because of poverty, they will break away from the country and become like Singapore -- an issue he said is "worrying", Sin Chew Daily reported.
"Singapore used to belong to the state of Johor, but it has since become an independent country," he said.
"We've already lost Singapore, if we're too poor and don't defend our interests, we will descend to the same fate as Singapore."
Mahathir was speaking on Saturday (Oct .15) evening at a rally held by the Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) coalition, which is led by Parti Pejuang Tanah Air, the party he launched in 2020.
Not the first time
The GTA chairman had made similar remarks in the past when criticising the current administration, such as in October 2021 when he said that Malaysia "sold Singapore", in addition to the country selling even more land and water now to Singapore to make the island bigger.
The nonagenarian later repeated his comments in June 2022, saying that Singapore was owned by Johor in the past and that the island should return to Johor and Malaysia.
He further said Malaysia today is not owned by bumiputera as Malays are "poor" and tend to "sell their land".
Fight for votes of young voters
At the GTA event, Mahathir also said the coalition will be focusing on young and new voters and try to convince them that the GTA will fight for the "original struggle of Bersatu", the party he co-founded in 2016 after leaving UMNO.
Mahathir also said he would defend his Langkawi parliamentary seat in the upcoming election.
Three days after the UMNO-led ruling government unveiled the national budget for 2023 -- said to be the largest package to date, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob dissolved parliament to pave the way for a general election.
He said voters would have to vote for the Barisan Nasional coalition if they want to see the budget approved.
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